On Oct.23, 2018, Sony unveiled its contactless cryptocurrency wallet. The announcement was made in a press release on the same day. The device was developed by Sony Computer Science Labs (SCSL).
Contactless-No USB Required
The unnamed device uses IC smart card technology to communicate with Bitcoin (BTC) or other cryptocurrency networks. Additionally, the invention enables users to dispense with the need to attach the wallet to a host device via USB.
“In addition, it is possible to securely generate and store a private key with a highly reliable tamper-proof module within the IC card,” the release explains.
According to the press release, the new hardware wallet offering is designed to incorporate multipurpose uses.
“This IC card-type cryptocurrency hardware wallet technology not only manages the private keys used for cryptocurrency transactions but also manages private keys used for other purposes, such as those for permitting the use of personal information using blockchain technology,”
The press release further emphasised that:
“It is an infrastructure technology with multiple possible applications.”
Currently, it is not clear when the product will be rolled out for mass adoption.
The new development places Sony among the growing list of multinationals that are increasingly experimenting with blockchain technology.
In August 2018, Sony filed for two patents by the U.S. Patent and Trademarks Office (USPTO).The patents, 20180218027 and 20180219686, were for innovations meant to improve the design and structure of blockchain hardware. In the two, Sony seeks to introduce new circuitries to the processes of distributed ledger technology.
The first application is called “Electronic Node and Method for Maintaining a Distributed Ledger.” It describes an electronic device for maintaining a blockchain based on multiple electronics nodes. The device can also maintain multiple blocks correlated with at least one of the existing blocks.
In the second application, “Device and System,” Sony suggests a mechanism of maintaining a blockchain by several virtual nodes. It indicates a mechanism of getting access to the distributed ledger via at least one of the nodes.
Sony is strategic by developing blockchain hardware and patenting them. Indeed, with developments in the industry, the company is eying future opportunities in the novel blockchain industry.
In March 2018, Japanese financial services group SBI Holdings added a cryptocurrency hardware maker to its portfolio.
The acquisition of a 40 per cent stake in CoolBitX effectively immersed SBI Holdings into the cryptocurrency ecosystem. CoolBitX is a Taiwanese cryptocurrency manufacturer of “cold” wallets.